Dig yields shrine to Roman twins' she-wolf

Nov 21, 2007

The shrine where ancient Romans worshiped the she-wolf who nursed Rome's mythical founding twins, Romulus and Remus, may have been found, archaeologists said.

The Lupercal shrine was located in an unexplored area of the Palatine Hill near the home of Rome's first emperor, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. Archaeologists reported finding a grotto made up of both a natural and artificial caves with a marble-covered ceiling.

Italian Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli called the find, "stunning."

"Rome never tires of amazing the world with its archaeological finds, Rutelli said. "'It is incredible to think we have found a mythological place which has finally become real."

Archaeologists have long thought the Lupercal shrine was somewhere on the slopes of the Palatine Hill, Rome's oldest hill and the site of the legendary quarrel in which Romulus slew Remus. The twin sons of Mars, the Roman war god, are among the most famous feral children in mythology and fiction.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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